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Lingcod has been a Pacific Northwest secret for years, only found on the West Coast from Baja to Alaska. Generally caught nearshore starting in the spring, lingcod is a lot like halibut in flavor and texture: dense and meaty with sweet, juicy flavor. It holds up well when cooking and is delicious baked, broiled, pan-seared or even barbecued. Lingcod’s large flakes and texture make it perfect for tacos or traditional fish and chips, but it also works well in pasta, sautéed in rich sauces, or simply served with just salt and pepper.
Our Lingcod is caught off the coast of Oregon in Port Orford, a seaside town bursting with character — from the spectacular seascapes and rugged shoreline to the old harbor docks and the people working them. As the oldest town in the state, the fishing industry has long been a part of its history, but over time, some of that identity was getting watered down. “For generations, fish that landed in Port Orford was lost to a muddy seafood supply chain — loaded onto a truck and shipped out of town as mystery fish,” says Kean Fleming, co-manager of Port Orford Sustainable Seafood. “We bucked the trend by forming a seafood company that pays fishermen more for their catch while retaining 100% traceability of the product back to the captain and vessel that brought it to shore.”
Founded in 2009 as an employee-owned cooperative, Port Orford Sustainable Seafood (POSS) has approximately 40 commercial boats, all of which fish hook-and-line. They know these local fishermen as friends and neighbors, know how they fish, and are proud to print their name and boat right on the label to connect you with the source of your seafood. For lingcod fishing — whether jigging, long-lining or dingle bar fishing (the preferred method) — everything brought aboard is caught intentionally; there is virtually zero bycatch.
POSS has a vested interest in the preservation of the waters, surrounding ecosystems and fish populations — this is their livelihood and their community. As stewards of the environment, they promote and support sustainable fishing practices, and believe in community-based management of marine resources informed by scientific research. With this as a core belief, the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve (the first reserve in Oregon) was a natural partner for them. Founded in 2011, this reserve set aside a nearby reef system to protect local stocks and to provide a location for scientific research — ensuring this fishing town stays viable for years to come and can continue providing the highest quality and sustainable seafood to the community.